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15.2 Assessment and Planning

YOUTH JUSTICE STANDARDS

Every young person or child that enters the YJT system will have the opportunity for a health review/assessment by the YJT specialist Health advisor.

The Court report and ASSET to be completed within 20 working days or prior to the next court date when appropriate.

One month after conviction allocated worker should have completed an Asset, Court report, intervention plan and a home visit with the client.

Young persons sentenced to custody will have a multi-agency meeting held and a welfare plan will be completed involving all relevant services within one month of sentencing. A discharge plan will be completed prior to release and voluntary support offered for three months after release.

RELATED CHAPTERS

Orders and Sentences Procedure

Working with Young People Under Orders Procedure

Intervention and Programs Procedure

RELATED GUIDANCE

Overview of Orders

Standards for Youth Justice Team


Contents

  1. Assessment and ASSET
  2. Assessing Risk
  3. Planning


1. Assessment and ASSET

1.1 Assessment is an ongoing process that involves the young person and, where appropriate, the young person’s parents/carers. It should provide a picture of a young person within their particular environment that will support the identification of needs, an understanding of the patterns of their offending behaviour and the planning of effective interventions.
1.2 Asset is the Assessment Tool used by the Youth Justice Team on all young people who have offended and come into contact with the criminal justice system. It helps the YJT workers to look at the young person’s offence or offences and identify a multitude of factors or circumstances – ranging from lack of educational attainment to mental health problems – which may have contributed to such behaviour. The information gathered from Asset can be used to inform court reports so that appropriate intervention programmes can be drawn up. It also highlights any particular needs or difficulties the young person has, so that these may also be addressed. In addition, Asset can help to measure changes in needs and risk of re-offending over time.

YOUTH JUSTICE STANDARD

Court report and ASSET to be completed within 20 working days or prior to the next court date when appropriate.


1.3 In relation to offending, the scoring system represents the assessor’s professional judgement and suggests targets for intervention. Judgements are informed by the content of the assessment tools and the research on which they are based. The ‘evidence boxes’ substantiate the assessor’s professional opinion, provide detail about how the risk factors are evident in an individual case and suggest what should be completed to address these targets.
1.4 Quality assessments are the foundation of effective youth justice services - constructing them is an ongoing process which involves the child or young person, their parents or carers, where appropriate and Information from other sources.
1.5

Assessment involves a range of activities which aim to make sense of a child or young person's behaviour in the context of their unique circumstances:

  • The identification of risks and needs;
  • An understanding of their patterns of offending behaviour;
  • The planning of effective interventions to prevent further offending.
1.6 Assessments focus on the factors that affect each of these three areas of risk, and will identify risk factors that increase the likelihood of negative outcomes, while identifying protective factors which reduce, prevent or offset the impact of those risk factors. Assessments are also likely to highlight other needs that may not be linked to the child or young person's offending behaviour.
1.7

The key tasks of assessment are:

  • Collecting information from a range of sources;
  • Recording information clearly and consistently;
  • Analysing information to try and understand the young person's behaviour and the circumstances in which it occurred;
  • Estimating future behaviour and its potential impact, should it recur;
  • Presenting conclusions to others;
  • Identifying risk and protective factors to inform intervention plans;
  • Sharing information with others;
  • Regularly reviewing assessments.
1.8 Assessment involves a range of activities which aim to make sense of an individual’s behaviour in the context of his/her unique circumstances. It can inform predictions about future behaviour and it should guide decisions and actions.

YOUTH JUSTICE STANDARD

Every young person or child that enters the YJT system will have the opportunity for a health review/assessment by the YJT specialist Health advisor.


1.9

Assessment focuses on the factors that contribute to the likelihood of re-offending, risk of vulnerability and risk of serious harm to others. A full assessment needs to look at patterns of behaviour over time and avoid viewing offences in isolation from each other, or from other events, circumstances or behaviours. Therefore:

  • Accurate assessment is needed to identify risks and needs, and determine the level and intensity of interventions required;
  • Clear planning is required to ensure that appropriate interventions are put in place to match the targets identified by the assessment;
  • Effective supervision is essential for enabling a young person to engage with these interventions;
  • Assessment should be ongoing and include regular review, since risks and needs are not static and may change during the course of interventions.


2. Assessing Risk

2.1 The Youth Justice Team recognises that risk assessment is an essential element of effective practice with young people who offend. The assessment process will accordingly establish levels of risk in relation to re-offending, vulnerability and serious harm for all young people with whom the service works.
2.2 Procedures for the management of risk will be proportionate to the assessed level of risk, taking into account the likely future behaviour of the young person and the likely consequences of such behaviour. Risk management planning will seek to balance the rights of the young person with the potential for harm to him or herself, to staff and to members of the public.


3. Planning

3.1 Intervention plans, plans to manage risk of serious harm and vulnerability, and reports for courts should always be based upon the contents of an Asset assessment. They should be the result of collaboration between the YJT, the young person, their parents/carer and other agencies.

YOUTH JUSTICE STANDARD

One month after conviction allocated worker should have completed an Asset, Court report, intervention plan and a home visit with the client.


3.2 Intervention plans should be tailored to the individual needs and risks of the child or young person and should be based on the risks and needs identified in the Asset and other relevant assessment information. Intervention plans should take into account the child or young person's maturity, learning style and motivation as well as the resources available locally. Intervention plans should take into account basic literacy and numeracy needs and ensure that these are addressed. The method of intervention planning should vary with the assessed level of intervention, according to the type of order and assessed risk. For more information see Orders and Sentences Procedure.

YOUTH JUSTICE STANDARD

Young persons sentenced to custody will have a multi-agency meeting held and a welfare plan will be completed involving all relevant services within one month of sentencing. A discharge plan will be completed prior to release and voluntary support offered for three months after release.


3.3 Case managers should ensure that effective communication systems are in place to ensure that the intervention plan operates as a whole and that relevant information on progress, risk issues and compliance is communicated clearly. 
3.4 Because young people sign up to these plans they should be simple, readable, understandable and relevant to the young person. Over-complicated plans can ‘set individuals up to fail’ unnecessarily.
3.5

In writing plans:

  • Keep words and sentences as short as possible;
  • Use words common in daily life;
  • Simplify ideas as much as possible;
  • Organise information logically and consistently;
  • Exclude unnecessary information;
  • Present the plan as clearly as possible.

End